Fake News: Florida Man NOT Arrested For Tranquilizing And Raping Alligators In Everglades

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Florida Man NOT Arrested For Tranquilizing And Raping Alligators In Everglades

Was 57-year-old Shawn Kilums arrested in Florida for tranquilizing and raping alligators in the Everglades? No, that's not true, the story was made up by a "fauxtire" site that invents tales of bizarre crimes and sex acts purely for entertainment purposes and then makes money through advertising. The story did not happen for real.

The story originated from an article published by Huzlers on July 17, 2018 titled "Florida Man Arrested For Tranquilizing And Raping Alligators In Everglades" (archived here) which opened:

FLORIDA - A Florida man has been arrested after authorities report he was tranquilizing alligators in the everglades and then raping them.

57 year old Shawn Kilums was found by Florida authorities in the act of engaging in sexual intercourse with a tranquilized alligator Sunday afternoon. Authorities say they tazed Shawn as he was not following police orders, police say Shawn was also high on crystal meth.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and many mistook it for a real news report, despite the telling "Florida Man" in the headline:

Florida Man Arrested For Tranquilizing And Raping Alligators In Everglades

FLORIDA - A Florida man has been arrested after authorities report he was tranquilizing alligators in the everglades and then raping them. 57 year old Shawn Kilums was found by Florida authorities in the act of engaging in sexual intercourse with a...

The man pictured with the story is apparently named Robert Prosser from Ohio and we found his mugshot in this 2010 gallery where it is claimed he was arrested for growing marijuana and posession of a firearm:

Outrageous mugshots

Ohio man Robert Prosser, 49, was arrested in July 2010 for allegedly growing marijuana at his home, which was located near a school, according to CBS affiliate WKRC. Prosser was also allegedly in possession...

Huzlers styles itself as a "fauxtire" website and carries a disclaimer at the bottom of each page:

Huzlers.com is the most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world. If it's trending on social media you'll find it here!

According to Splinter News the site is run by Pablo Reyes and David Martinez and according to Buzzfeed Reyes is involved with several other fake news websites. They tend to shy away from political stories, opting instead to write for a more "urban" audience, with stories about rappers, criminals and celebrities.

We wrote about huzlers.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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